High-Performance Clutch Maker Powers Trucks Around The World With Ex-Im Bank

Ace Manufacturing & Parts Company – Sullivan, Missouri

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Ace Manufacturing & Parts Company has been producing American-made clutches out of Sullivan, Missouri, since 1967. Specializing in heavy duty clutches for semi-trucks and ultra-high performance racing clutches, Ace Manufacturing is an industry leader not only in the United States, but also in many markets around the globe. In fact, 30 percent of Ace Manufacturing’s sales come from exports.

Ace Manufacturing employs over 100 people in Missouri, nearly 60 of whom are metal workers, and they have greatly benefitted from free trade agreements (FTAs). Ace sells clutches to Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, and South Africa, all of which but South Africa have FTAs with the United States. Thanks to FTAs, Ace’s products can be sold at competitive prices in foreign markets without the onerous burden of tariffs and red tape.

Ace Manufacturing’s overseas success shows why it is so vital that U.S. policymakers continue to pursue trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that lower tariffs and level the playing field for U.S. manufacturers. It also shows the importance of keeping the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) open for business. “We use Ex-Im Bank to extend credit terms to our overseas customers,” says Mickie Ivie of Ace Manufacturing. “With exports, it’s not like we can send collectors two states over to collect payment, so we use Ex-Im to guarantee our accounts receivable.”

The Ex-Im Bank helps Ace and other small businesses through credit insurance on loans made to overseas customers. That way, in case the foreign buyer fails to pay, Ace is reimbursed. Still, these cases are rare. “In the 10 years I’ve been with the company, we have to yet to file a claim,” says Ivie. This is one reason that Ex-Im bank actually returns money to the Treasury: more than $1 billion last year. The bank’s default rate is less than one quarter of one percent.

If Congress fails to reauthorize the bank before September 30 of this year, it will cease lending, and Ace’s export business will be negatively impacted. “Without Ex-Im Bank, we would have to ask our customers to switch to cash-in-advance. That would cost us overseas buyers and hurt our business,” says Ivie. “Congress needs to reauthorize Ex-Im bank so small American businesses can stay competitive in the global market and create new jobs.”